ACTU Issues Press Release Re: Illegal Asbestos Imports

Tougher policing of imports described as asbestos free is urgently needed by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service.

As shown on last night’s 730 Report, and the subject of Union concerns over a long period, the inadequacy of importation controls, especially those applying to China are allowing products such as locomotives and motor vehicles containing white asbestos to be imported into Australia.

“Asbestos causes cancer, it’s that simple,” ACTU Assistant Secretary Michael Borowick said.

“Australia has a decade old ban on the importation of asbestos to protect the community from its harmful effects that isn’t being enforced.

“Importers have been duty bound since December 2003 to not import anything containing asbestos yet it is still happening and to make matters worse, the regulator isn’t doing its job and enforcing the ban.

“It is well established that imports from China, particularly freight trains and motor vehicles contain asbestos components.

“Tragically, asbestos has been discovered only after workers had been exposed during an engine repair.

“Last year, despite around 25,000 motor vehicles found to contain asbestos being imported from China by Ateco no prosecution by the regulator took place.

“These are complete failures by the regulator who should have identified the asbestos before the vehicles and trains were allowed into Australia.

“There are a growing number of unacceptable breaches of the asbestos ban occurring under the watch of the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service, and something needs to be done.

“If nothing is done, more workers and members of the community will needlessly be put at risk.

“The Government must urgently provide greater resources to the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service to ensure they are equipped to enforce the ban.’

Latest OHS news

What Is the 10559NAT Working with Asbestos Containing Mat...

Work Health and Safety Regulations cover a wide range of safety training including the ...

Read more

10675NAT Asbestos Awareness Training Course Online?

According to the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, asbestos awareness training is requir...

Read more

Mesothelioma in Australia

The use of asbestos products in Australia came to a halt more than a decade ago, but th...

Read more

Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency comments on Asbest...

The Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency released several case studies into best prac...

Read more

What Participants Say

“In over 20 years of training, this was one of the best courses I’ve ever attended.”

- Queensland Rail

“Great! The instructor made it interesting and enjoyable”

- Leighton Contractors

” We heard that AlertForce delivers one of the best courses around so the boss decided to send me to Australia from New Zealand.”

- Participant Public Course

“I liked the trainer’s positive outlook and uplifting approach towards completing the long day.”

- Visionstream

“Very competent training course. Trainer was very knowledgeable on subject.”

- Servicestream

“AlertForce provided an excellent trainer,  knowledgeable on the topic and allowed for active questioning.”


“Informative and concise training delivered at the right pace.”


“The Trainer was very engaging”

- Fair Work Commission

“Interesting, informative, relevant.”

- Airservices Australia

Payments & Security

Awards & Accreditations

Make an Enquiry: